October 21, 2016
Dear Prospective Student,
Thank you very much for visiting our web site and checking our services out. Since I started When Hounds Fly in January 2010, over 4000 dogs and their families have taken classes with us. My mission when I opened our first location at 1108 Dundas Street West was to raise the quality of dog training services in Toronto, and to improve the welfare of pet dogs in our city.
Thanks to the success of our students, word of mouth spread quickly and we grew. Our Dundas West location now has two training halls and we frequently run multiple classes per night that are always full. Requests for private lessons to help with dogs that have fear, anxiety, or aggression issues pour in, to the point where new students were waiting many weeks for a first available appointment.
From an economics perspective, when demand for services exceed supply, it’s time to increase supply. The problem is it’s not easy for me to increase our availability. Verena and I teach group classes nearly every day of the week – Verena only gets one day off per week – I’ve been seeing clients or teaching group classes 7 days a week for a couple of months now with no end in sight.
Going back to my original mission – to raise the quality of dog training services in Toronto – I can’t just “train up” new employees to meet demand. Finding experienced, professional dog trainers with sufficient practical experience and academic experience is very difficult. (We’re hiring – in case you know of anyone!)
Going back to economics – if supply can’t be increased, then I could just increase prices to reduce demand and maximize profit for our business. I am, however, community-oriented at heart, and I want people who have modest incomes to be able to afford our services and programs. I don’t want to price ourselves such that only the wealthy can benefit from our classes and services. So, I haven’t increased prices of group classes since 2014. I’ve setup this business to avoid unnecessary frills (such as a receptionist – when all the basic information is freely available on our web site) and put all our resources into teaching and lessons.
My goal is to grow our teaching staff so that we can meet demand. I’m working on it. It’s my top priority. But I won’t compromise on my original mission of maintaining extremely high standards. So until I find the right people to join our team, please see the following regarding lead times/wait times for coming to take classes with us:
Availability at Pape Village
Our newest facility at East York can accept students almost immediately. We have both extra classroom capacity and teaching resources. If you want to start Puppy Socialization or Foundation Skills class as soon as possible, please enroll at Pape Village. Our investment in our Pape Village location is very important to us, therefore I am personally teaching the vast majority of classes there.
Availability at Dundas West
Our original location is very busy, and we carefully limit the number of new students we take in per week to avoid having more students that we can serve. Currently (as of mid-October), it is approximately a 2-3 week wait time between the time you fill out an Enrollment Form, attend orientation, and finally attend your first class. Certainly, being more flexible as to which class times/days you can attend help somewhat. Dundas West Puppy Socialization students have to plan ahead – we often have new puppy owners attend orientation BEFORE their puppy leaves the breeder and their litter. If you can’t wait or don’t plan ahead, then your puppy will likely be too old to attend Puppy Socialization classes here by the time you are able to get in.
Availability of Private Lessons
Update on March 2nd, 2017 – For a short time we are not accepting new clients for private lessons, however, we anticipate having much greater capacity to see clients for 1 on 1 lessons in April (please check back and thank you for your patience).
Thanks for taking the time to read this. I look forward to meeting you and your pup at school soon.